Open government has become a prominent issue for governments in recent years. Many studies focus on the data published by governments (supply) instead of on the needs of potential users (demand). In this study, we investigated the perceived impact of open data provided by the Dutch Inspectorate of Education. The research question is what is the perceived impact of open inspection data, as used by parents, on the quality of education in Dutch primary schools? The empirical data have been gathered by both surveys and interviews. The results of the surveys show that both the factual use and the perceived usefulness of the Inspectorate’s open data are relatively low. Parents want all individuals and institutions, in general, to have more influence on the quality of primary education. The results also indicate that the increasingly frequent visits to the Inspectorate of Education’s website are linked to parents’ desire to have more influence on the quality of primary education. Finally, as parents are more involved in the schools or visit the Inspectorate’s website more often, they want the participation councils to have more influence. Nevertheless, Dutch parents highly estimate the average quality of the education provided by primary schools. However, when their involvement increases, their assessments of their school’s performance decrease. Frequent visits to the Inspectorate’s website are related to lower performance assessments. So, open inspection data are potentially valuable for (critical) parents, especially when attention is also paid to “soft” quality indicators.

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Social Science Computer Review
Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

de Kool, D., & Bekkers, V. (2014). The Perceived Impact of Open Inspection Data on the Quality of Education in Dutch Primary Schools. Social Science Computer Review, 33(5), 645–659. doi:10.1177/0894439314560853